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tv   Flemming Rose and Nick Gillespie Discuss Freedom of Speech  CSPAN  December 12, 2016 8:30am-10:01am EST

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executive vice president for public policy at verizon and john mckibbon covers technology for "the wall street journal." >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. ..
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in washington, d.c. my name is tranfive, caters senior digital outreach manager and you at cato digital and ongoing series on the intersection of tech, social media and the ideas of liberty. tonight we will be talking about ongoing attacks on freedom of speech and freedom of press and what we can do to combat those attacks. our hashtag tonight is cato digital, and in the spirit of free exchange and freedom of expression, i encourage you all to use it liberally on twitter and insta graham to show your thoughts, reflections, favorite quotes from the panel tonight. those of you who are watching on c-span or one of our online channels can also use it to tweet in questions which i will be looking for on my phone throughout the panel.
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the freedom of speech and freedom of press are at the core of a free society. unfortunately we are increasingly discovering that far too many people might say they support them but when in actuality they don't support the policy that safeguard any of the above. on the campaign trail we saw both from hillary clinton and donald trump calls to close sections over the internet in order to combat isys, and support for bans on flag burning, a constitutionally protected right. last week even donald trump double down on his dislike of flag burners with an incendiary tweet hauling for all americans would burn the flag to lose their citizenship. he's also called tougher libel laws that will crack down on media companies that publish embarrassing or unflattering information about individuals,
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and has said that the freedom of press gets in the way of the war on terror. meanwhile, on the campaign trail we saw students calling the police to report hate speech because of seeing trump 2016 written in chalk on their campuses. we saw employees a facebook petitioning mark zetterberg to band donald trump and all of his posts from the platform the trump campaign alleged that twitter has lost much of its advertising platform because of ideological reasons. post 2016 election, pendants on both the left and the right blame social media for the increasing polarization of the voting public and both google and facebook have announced initiative to crack down on -- despite controversy over what that fake news actually is.
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our guests tonight are two stalwarts in the fight for free speech and the freedom of press and we are lucky to have them here tonight. flemming rose is the 2016 winner of the milton friedman award for advancing liberty, also an adjunct scholar at the cato institute, and he is the author of the tierney of silence, the first of his three books that is now out in paperback. those of you who are here in the audience who get an opportunity to get a copy site after the presentation. most of you probably know nick gillespie, editor-in-chief of and reason tv. you can find in online on twitter here. >> about 330 a.m. if if you're looking for something to do. >> the best time. >> i want to get those trump tweets out there, we tweet
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immediately. >> flemming, your life changed on september 19, 2005. can you tell us why? >> september 19, 2005, was a day the so-called cartoons of the prophet mohammed were published by the newspaper i worked at back then. nothing happened right away but that is a publication i just received one phone call from a newspaper when, within at the mosque and complained and said he would not sell the newspaper anymore. but as a newspaper you get those calls every now and then. it took a while until i understood that this may change my life. >> right. and why did you publish those cartoons? >> the cartoons didn't come out as blue. there published as part of a debate about citizenship and
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violence regarding islam and bin laden in europe. there were several cases pointing to the issue of citizens -- censorship and intimidation. there were other cases, so there was this debate, is are still censorship or not? if there is self-censorship is a based in actual fact or just in the imagination of those who sense of themselves. to find out we invited, i invited the cartoonists to troll the profit as they seem. from 25 active members of the association of the danish -- >> some of those people did express they would want to publish anonymously or -- >> yes. one of the reasons why we
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published was that it was always part of the children's book about the life of the prophet mohammed. the in-store -- the illustrator insisted on anonymity. you do not want to appear under your own name out of fear for the consequences. >> it's the case mohammed, a a dominant train of thought in islam is that you should not figure the profit -- >> in sunni islam but i did know that at the time. but, in fact, if you ask, there is a very famous american scholar of islamic art who unfortunately passed away a few days ago and he said afterwards that there is no basis in the text for the, the text of
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finding -- banning images of the prophet. within she islam you have images of the prophet. but recently that's true, it's been banned. but you have throughout islamic history you see in copenhagen where you have, in fact, the 13th century image of the prophet. so it's not true that, you know, it's an eternal taboo within islam. but it is true the depictions is not quite common. if you go into a mosque compared to the church you will see no images in a mosque. >> a good reason to avoid both, right? keep your weekends free. >> that was a violent reaction after these cartoons came out. multiple embassies around the world were set on fire. i think over 139 people were killed in protests.
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>> probably more. >> right, yes. do you regret publishing the cartoons? >> no, i don't regret publishing these cartoons. they were in line with my fundamental approach to journalism, and it's, you know, if you hear about a story, if you hear about an issue you want to find out if it's true or not, right? that's what you do as a journalist. we just chose an untraditional way. instead of just asking people, we invited people working with images as their medium to show in practice how they view this issue. but, of course, i don't believe that a cartoon is worth a single human life. the challenge for any editor and journalist is what do you do when there are people out there who believe that it's okay to
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kill because of a cartoon? >> you yourself were put on al-qaeda is hit list alongside salman rushdie, the now late editor of -- and your own newspaper, supporting you publicly, did give you a very restricted list of rules on how you are allowed to engage. >> quite late in the game in 2011 after i published this book in denmark in 2010. it was in a situation of emergency, i would say. there were between five and 10 foiled attacks or plans to attack the newspaper. so it was a very unusual situation, and that's what i accepted this dictate in 2011. but a year later when i was told this will be an effective song as you are employed by this
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company i was not allowed to speak and write about religious issues. i was not allowed to speak and write about the cartoon crisis. i was not allowed to speak and write about the organization of islamic conference or islamic collaboration, international organization. i said i disagree strongly and i will take the consequences if i'm not able to live with this at some point. >> it was emblematic of the same showing a speech that -- >> it was a huge victory for the artists. -- jihadists. i am not on speaking terms with colleagues and friends who i have known for 25 years. the top management at the newspaper, they tried to silence me and in the end i broke with them and i left the newspaper. we don't talk anymore. so i mean, friendships are ruined, fundamental journalistic
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principles were violated. and that's a huge victory for the jihadists, of the assassins veto. >> nick, in 2015 he faced similar pressure to valley security over liberty. tell us a little bit about that. >> thank you for having me. it's a real honor and a privilege for me to be on the stage with somebody like flemming, and i hope you all appreciate both what he said when he said no cartoon is what the human life and somebody who reads editorial cartoons almost everyday almost every day and even publishes them on a weekly basis i agree with him completely. and also the principles for which he really made a bold statement, is really just fantastic and i would like to give them a round of applause
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for standing up for that. [applause] as kat was saying as a bedrock principle of a free society, of an open society, of a truly liberal society, free speech, free expression, i think, i think we assume as well, these are all intertwined at there at the core. i say that as a bit of a preface to say like i feel bad to be on the same stage as somebody who is like, well, i in the in the name of a foundational civilizational value, i published a bunch of cartoons and then in saying jihadists who pervert the very religion that purport to represent tried to kill me and kill hundreds of people around the globe and cause all kinds of mayhem, my contribution to free speech is much, much smaller. it may be more common for more of you but essentially last year if all of you know or have heard of the silk road website which was a dark web where people
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could buy and sell anything they wanted basically using that going. they were anonymous users. it was used to traffic in a lot of drugs. the person who was ultimately convicted founding and running the site, he went on a long trial. he essentially got a life sentence which he is appealing out from a judge in new york. >> with no chance of parole. >> that is right. he's going to be locked up for the rest of his life, almost certainly. he is appealing it. but when the judge handed down her sentence, in the southern district of the federal court of new york, she spent a long time haranguing him about his libertarian beliefs and who did he think he was the people should be able to come and freely trade whatever they wanted any consensual nature? what kind of bastard are you? exaggerating a little bit. so i wrote up a post at
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that we got a subpoena asking for all of the information that we had on our commenters, which is not all that much because we don't actually, we as people if they want to comment, i need to supply a valid email address and there's a variety of other information they may or may not give. because the federal prosecutor was, had standing grand jury that was related to this trial and they said these were threats against the life of a federal judge, a very serious charge and wanted that, and we were faced with the question whether not we would go public with it subpoena or not. do we tell the people or do we just comply with the subpoena? we ended up doing based on legal counsel will let the people who were the subject of the subpoena, the six commenters we got in touch with them and told them about it and we wanted to
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find out if they're going to try to quash the subpoena subpoena,s ridiculous on its face. then we got a gag order the day after because our lawyer said to the federal prosecutor who had gotten in touch with us, well, we told the people, you know, who were named in the subpoena about this and we are waiting to see if they're going to quash it. they should you can't do that, you are under a gag order which means you can't even say to people if they ask you, are you under a gag order, you just got to be like, you know. you are not allowed to say anything. the federal prosecutor messed up. then they issued a gag order ad then we were stuck. one of the commenters late the subpoena to ken white who is a criminal defense attorney in california, runs a great legal blog, and you wrote a story about this and then he called me up for a comet to ask whether or not we were, in fact, under a gag order. i was like i really have no
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comment which is effectively the same thing when you are under a gag order. so that was a chilling effect on our speech peer we ended up protesting. we spent thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars in man hours dealing with this. in a way it's interesting, you called it the assassins vito and it is certainly that. we had a chilling effect from the federal government essentially saying he have a right to free speech but we are going to make you kind of work for it and pay for it, and away plus the chilling effect on the commenters. the happy ending industry was because what ken white great coverage in this fantastic piece of article, look it up on the blog, we generated a huge amount of media sympathy from different groups. because it turns out the federal government has tens of thousands of requests. there is no way of really kind of cataloging and calculating
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how many they ask for information from places like youtube, from places like facebook, twitter, you name it. tens of thousands, of the press organizations for information on readers and commenters. oftentimes with a gag order so nobody really knows how many times this is happening and how often. >> and you in a unique position. you were are the right of the original piece of the commenters had commented on budget also the editor in chief of a very ideological libertarian publication. do you think that you could have expected another media source to respond in the same way? >> yeah, it's a good question. the way that most media sources, and this goes to its a more subtle erosion of the ideal of free speech and a free expression and open and unfettered exchange of ideas. what most sites have done or most publications, many publications have done, there's
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two responses generally. one is that they will use a service like discus which is a commenting plug-in for a variety of website concept management systems so that the comments are actually technically published by wholly different organization that the site they are on. and it gives you a certain amount of distance from that. or you just get rid of comments altogether which is more and more common where people just don't have comments section anymore. the internet and the world wide web, which i guess it just called the web now, excuse me for being old, but in the early '90s one of the utopian dreams, and it's delivered on a lot of this, not completely was while back, we could have real conversations, that it wasn't just waiting a couple weeks for the new times to publish 100 word letter from somebody bitching and moaning about something but you could have
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real-time discussion and a flourishing of the speech, the public square could be everywhere and always and always have more room for comments to something where things have really become shut down in many significant ways. >> nick, you defended essentially the freedom of speech of people were making death threats although there's a lot of questions over how serious those were. lending, you received death threats for supporting freedom of speech. so what is the difference? should the people making those death threats against freedom of speech as well? >> i think if you look at the american situation and the first amendment, death threats in order to be illegal needs to be followed by more or less immediate action. in europe it's a bit more complicated. in europe people may be convicted for a speech like this but i am more in favor of the
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american approach, that there needs to be a clear and present danger. even though you may not think it's funny for the judge. >> someone making fargo jokes is different from someone who is just murdered someone for saying something. >> of course. >> you referenced the murder of theo van gogh in the streets of amsterdam. of the great historic -- he had a note stabbed into his body saying i had written of this era for the movie that he had directed for which he was killed. that's an wildly different situation than what reason says where there's a concept of true threat were easy to say you are blowing off steam and you are saying i could kill this person, or i want to kill this person.
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that's not a true threat because there isn't any proximity. there isn't any real follow-through, et cetera. one of the things that was hilarious in the federal prosecutor subpoena, and again this was to a grand jury. so we had no way of stopping just because grand juries are given vast latitude to just get whatever information they want. there are very few limits on that, which itself is a problem but it is somewhat separate from this speech issue. they were saying these people are making credible threats, real threats, two threats against the federal judge and can you get back to us with income something like 72 hours or a week, with information about them. they were so terrified that these people, these commenters were going to come and kill a federal judge that they give us the week to comply to get the information. much of which was available in like inner profiles. one o of the people had a google plus page listed as the contact. so the federal government was so upset by this, but they didn't
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know where to turn so they asked us to get information in a week. it's just ridiculous. that's a real distinction. if it's a clear and present danger, if it's a call to immediate source action, it's one thing but otherwise otherwie on, speech is speech. >> on that note to get the elephant out of the room, is flagburning free-speech? >> i think so. unless a person is wearing it and then it's an assault. >> do you think -- >> i don't know if there are any trump's aborted out there. the really novel thing about the trump comments on that wasn't simply flagburning because hillary clinton is against flagburning. all of these idiots, a large majority of people in congress i think are against flagburning. he actually said that you should not only go to jail but you should be stripped of your citizenship, which is truly kind of stunning. that is a particularly interesting kind of mean or idea
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that goes to a lot of trump talk. some people are citizen, some people can't be citizen or you could be a citizen but we're going to get rid of you. as a matter of law there's no possible of that happening. it's disturbing to see him constantly reach in that direction spirit as a journalist do you the president trump would be a credible threat to free speech? >> we will have to wait and see. i mean,, i'm not an expert on u.s. elections. i wrote a book while the elections going on so i didn't follow it so closely, but i noticed the other way that floyd abrams, a great first amendment lawyer in the u.s., said to the hollywood reporter that donald trump represents the greatest threat to the first amendment since the alien sedition act from 1798.
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and he contemplated that the u.s. media organization may consider suing trump for libel to fight him with his own weapons if he spends the weapon that he wants to weaponize more. >> so to teach them a lesson. i think it was more like a a creative input. he just admitted think about how to manage this situation. i think, going back to what you said about citizenship, that on the one hand trump is politically incorrect. he says things that usually would be socially marginalized and that's maybe one of the reasons why he has so much support. but at the same time he is very thin-skinned when people criticize him. i see him as a populist.
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we had these populist in europe i think a key notion of populism is this lack of pluralism, that we represent the people. we are against the elites or the foreigners for those who did not belong. i think that is a key challenge in this current debate about free speech, the donald trump, be it islamist, be it right-wing populists in europe, the left wing do-gooders. the speech they dislike. and that has been reinforced by the digital revolution, by migration because every society is getting more and more diverse in terms of its ethnicity and religion. i think that is a staying challenge independent of trump
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or not. and it's a big issue in europe and the think will also be a big issue here and other parts of the world as we move forward. because the world is not going to grow less diverse we have more and more people living -- the difference between cities and countryside is cities are not homogenous anyway. your virtual and physical labors that you didn't used to live next door to, and it raises what i believe is the key question here, the question of tolerance, and the distorted understanding of tolerance that is being moved around. to me, tolerance is basically a judicial political frame for managing disagreement. that you don't try to ban and you don't try to use violence to
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silence things that you hate. too many people that means either turn the other cheek, that you are intolerant if you say something outrageous. in order to manage this new diversity you have to get back and reinvent the notion of tolerance spirit what it means to be tolerant. >> .com in a diverse society because trump has trouble managing diversity. angela merkel has trouble managing diversity. political parties have troubles on college campuses. they are not able to manage diversity. so we have to get back to these key building bricks of the enlightenment to be able to find a way to live in peace together in this new area come in this new era without optimizing for freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of
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movement. >> this is one of the things you touched on is you are talking about and a lightman ideal which i think needs to be -- and enlightenment idea which need to be reinvented if that's a word because the enlightenment has become a dirty word in most academic circles. the enlightenment is the dark enlightenment. the enlightenment come if you follow the frankfort school or other scholars it in in the mass murder in auschwitz. it's not about factory farming. it's about factory murder. we need to defend the lightman and that idea of cosmopolitanism. globalism which trump, trump says the people who support him, hillary was a globalist. obama is a globalist. someone who deported more americans -- not more americans but more illegal immigrants that anybody else is a globalist somehow? but i think we need to take a stand for globalization in a positive way and make it a
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positive ideal and it is based on this idea freedom of movement, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience. this is where a dynamic economy, a dynamic world, a more innovative world, a better world, and more prosperous world comes from. it is better that we trade with china and if we fight with china would isolate china. it is better that we trade with mexico and that the nafta agreement created a free trade zone in north america or the art effectively no tariffs anywhere. that's a good thing and we need to go back and kind of defend that. to go to the question of trump and free speech really quickly, he has his own idea. if he could give a check and everybody and every news organization and every random person. i do recommend you follow his twittetwitter account. at one point he said he was in the green room at fox news, juan williams who works come he's one of the liberals at fox news took
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some self is within and between something along the lines of like juan williams took self is with me, then slammed me on tv. what a bad name. and this is a guy who's going to be the president of the united states, and he's about to see about every interaction. like we need to hold it accountable and make fun of him on that account. if he had his way you would be terrible -- lets use cartoons. that always works well. we will have donald trump with a bomb in his hair rather than his beard, right? body also as a matter of policy, for for instant donald trump and this shows like what politicians want, remember it's all unintended consequences. we believe we know the law of unintended consequences, it's true for politicians as well. he may want to shut down the "new york times" are shut down just be those who runs the "washington post" but is probably going to appoint an sec that will get rid of stupid net neutrality laws that hillary clinton was still in favor of
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that which would discriminate and change the underlying framework about internet speech and internet expression and internet data gets sent to record on a certain level he might be awful and everything he says and yet he might end up having a more positive effect in opening up the very framework by which we are more free to speech in whatever context we might not even be able to imagine yet. >> one follow-up on diversity. i mean i basically agree with you but i think we need to acknowledge that the diversity is very difficult and can be very painful. for many years it's because it's been very popular to celebrate diversity. it's kind of not correct to acknowledge that it is, it's not easy. it's painful. it's difficult. it creates conflict. you have confrontations. and i think one shouldn't
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celebrate diversity as a virtue of anything by itself. it's just the fact that you had to cope with, and it's not that the more diverse, the better it is or more homogenous it is. it's just too different types of sizes, and we have to be honest that it's not easy. and we said all around the world right now. >> i want to go off of this idea of diversity. we were discussing earlier before we started this discussion here, the early internet or the early social internet when people first started engaging to give people an opportunity to find so many more subcultures and groups and ideas that they didn't really have access to previously. in those ways it has become much more diverse. it at this diversifying and packebackwere previously we dide that.
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but now host 2016 election in particular we are having a lot of people blaming the polarization of the voting public on the fact that we have things like algorithms that serve as the content it knows where going to like. the fact people push to un-follow anyone who says things that they make are uncomfortable and friend them. if you say something a certain way, i'm going to block you. then they turn around and say how could donald trump have one, no one i know supports them, right? whites at play here? are people the problem? to the people need to be trying to -- >> i think the children are the problem. we keep looking to them as the solution but they are really the problem. that's how we know the schools are no good because they are not learning anything. it's their problem. i would argue that, i agree there's no question social media and new media however we want to
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talk about the internet is being blamed for polarization. the fact of the matter is, and i really am enamored of the political scientist who is associate with the hoover institution whose talked about this going back at least 15 or 20 years about polarization in american politics. the real problem isn't that americans are not polarized. you can find basically 60% of americans easily think that illegal immigrants should be given a pathway to citizenship. 60% or more of americans think that abortion laws should kind of state whether are now and have been since roe v wade. 60% believe pot should be legalized. there's massive majorities. nobody cares about gay marriage anymore. fishes to be a hot button issue and it's like it's one. there is massive majorities on many issues that supposedly divide us. the real problem is that in politics, in partisan politics
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we can't express those opinions because the nominating processes by which candidates are selected are governed by extremist and both republican and democratic parties. you can see this where the art of centrist republicans, they are the centers democrats. they are all extreme. it predates the rights of the web and its the political system that is the problem. it helps explain, and i'm bullish on this election because again and again, and this is something my colleague and i talked about in a book, the declaration of independence, going back to 1970 1970, fewer d fewer people identify as republican or democrat. fewer and fewer people identify as liberal or conservative, either moderates or libertarians. david did a great post using gallup survey to show that actually libertarians are the single largest kind of ideological block roughly defined as socially liberal in fiscally conservative, and we
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can pick bones with that kind of stuff. it's basically the political system we have does not allow us to express our agreement on many important issues. and we are vacating that political system. fewer people want to be republicans. few people want to be democrat democratic. it's kind of a great outcome that one horrible candidate who is historically dislike one electoral college together historically disapprove candidate won the popular vote. night of them could get 50%. they have a total monopoly on political discourse and they suck and we know it. we're leaving them behind behind. we are migrating summer else and hopefully it will be on politics. we need to keep an eye on politics and keep it small that our lives but this is progress that we have an election where nobody one clearly and nobody got 50%. and i'm hoping in 2020,
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especially if joe biden runs, we might be seeing major parties pulling in the single digits. if somebody knows where gary johnson siding out i think the third time might be the charm for him. it's like reagan. >> yeah, on social media and what you said about -- >> diversity of ideas. >> exactly. i think that is a huge challenge. because we have this tendency to look for material and stuff with which we agree, and that does not challenge us. so you have these echo chambers and communities that don't know what is going on in other communities. and i think, i don't think polarization migh by itself is a problem. sometimes it's great to have a polarization and good things come out of it because you have
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a heated argument. but i think in terms of knowledge production, i think it's very beneficial to be exposed to point of views with which you disagree and even hate or dislike. and when it comes to modernization you have these social psychology test that shows if you put people at the same opinion in a room and they talk about the issue in which they agree, when they come out they will be more radicals. the same with people of the opposite point of view. but put people in both groups in the same room, they tend to moderate opinions. and also from knowledge production, i think it's healthy to talk to people with whom you disagree. or to figure out what you disagree about and you can refine your arguments and not
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just talk to people who you agree on everything. i think social media reinforces, unfortunately, that factor. >> i'm not fully convinced that we are more polarized than ever in our daily lives or that we we sorting as much as some people say. so that everybody just lives around people are exactly like them or think like them. there's no question that that kind of self-selection or confirmation is problematic. to go back to the enlightenment question, i love the phrase, knowledge production. it's really key. that's what universities i think should before. they are not for teaching students. they are for knowledge and debate and synthesis and ethics aside as the produce a lot of knowledge and do better. going back to the enlightenment question, what are the institutions that we need, do you think we need to build up so that we take that seriously and that were teaching our children,
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not that okay, like mommy and daddy have all the answers and we have to force it down the throat of the people that don't agree with us, but what are the institutions that would build up that kind of enlightenment belief, intolerant, and pluralism and conflict that has resulted -- peacefully and intellectually as opposed to violently? >> i think the school. schools and family were you bring up kids, and you teach them the benefit of being exposed to things that make you uncomfortable because the reaction will be i don't like this. i have a grandson who was very ambivalent of plank soccer. i taken to soccer every saturday morning and -- >> so you want him to be a soccer star but you weren't a --
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>> yes. but, so he's ambivalent. i take it every time and i can see even though he is ambivalent, you know, after a long period of time he starts to enjoy it. so i think we have to teach our kids this knowledge production process and tolerance, that it's okay that you don't like what the other guy says, but they may be beneficial to you to listen and engage in a conversation, but the trend is we have to protect our children. he goes there are so many bad things out there, so we don't expose them to things that makes them uncomfortable. >> including in the schools. >> and this brings me back to the concept of tolerance. you have to teach tolerance this
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way, but that it's good to be exposed to things that you dislike. >> kind of on the same track of exposing people to ideas, prior to the election here in the u.s., there's a big controversy that had conservatives up in arms saying facebook was censoring them based upon the trending news stories mechanism and have stories were being selected. after the election we are hearing a lot about fake news and why isn't facebook doing more in order to figure, in order to make sure certain stories are being told an in otr ones are not. is this a partisan divide or something else at play? >> i think in the fake news, the one thing that clinton supporters, and not even necessary i think hillary clinton supporters by people who referred her to win over donald trump, and particularly the more died in the will democratic
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party members are, they are, think the less they are likely to say okay, she lost not because of voter suppression. she lost because, they don't want to blame her for the loss because that doesn't compute to them, but she just did not bring out the people she needed to bring out to vote. people were talking about his going have a more diverse coalition of different interest groups that obama. she didn't. as a matter of fact she ended up basically poling what polls expected her to. she was within a couple of points of beating trump by she didn't pull people out. it was her people that she lost that people are searching for partisan are searching for reasons to explain her inexplicable loss which is actually kind of understandable when you look at the number of votes that were cast and the lack of enthusiasm that had dogged her through the entire process to a point where berniee
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sanders, who is a joke, he is a joke as a candidate, and he had no good ideas. this is a guy who -- >> the danish model. >> there you go. the final season, the bonus season of that \70{l1}s{l0}\'70{l1}s{l0} show. this is a guy who hasn't had a new thought in four years. and trump barely one. i'm not saying it's not a a legitimate win. it's a totally legitimate win but the fact just because a lot of his people are like foaming at the mouth, if you ever go on twitter and make a joke, you can even make a a joke at democrats expense that make come with donald trump ended because the other day donald trump was in cincinnati, during all the cable shows were showing that people in the state in use at and it was a totally white audience. and i tweeted, i haven't seen an audience this white since
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prairie home companion came to cincinnati. the white mob at npr. still getting a tax from trump, how dare, why are you bringing race into everything? they are a skinflint bunch. there are not that many of them actually. there were enough to get him in the white house, good for him, wonderful. we can work with that as libertarians because we are coming, we have a future oriented philosophy. we're interested in technology, in true diversity, diversity of different peoples, of different foods, of different genders. of different ideas. we are the future. this is going to be a very good time for us, as long as we don't get caught up and try to be republicans or democrats in any kind of dunderhead way. >> just one additional point. every time you have a discussion about the fairness of fake
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reporting or impolite speech or whatever it is, the usual suspect is always free speech. let's ban something, then everything will get better. it's the easy way out for politicians and for a group with a specific agenda. it doesn't help. it's not the way to do it. i think in this whole discussion about facebook and social media, we shouldn't forget, even though i'm not a marxist or socialist, we shouldn't forget they have businesses. they are here to make money and not to create knowledge production or challenge people, but they have to make them comfortable. so we shouldn't fool ourselves about what facebook and google are doing. >> and if i can just, to to
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follow up on that. we had been talking about this a bit before. that is something else, that if they trump is really bringing to the fore. he's not a milton friedman capitalist. he's not like john mackey of whole foods. , committed libertarians. they are committed businessmen n as well and that's important, but google and facebook have already shown that they are more than willing to accommodate autocratic regimes, authoritarian regimes. that's the right and everything but we should not fool ourselves, that they will respond to what the market demands ultimately pick at this point the market and politics can be pretty close to we need to create i guess, to go back to the question of holding up this market for enlightenment ideas of tolerance, pluralism, of diversity, a thought and diversity, of lifestyle. we need to make ethically market choice so that given the option google will say we are going to go with like market forces that
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say we want more discussion, more diversity, more conflict that is mediated in a positive thought away rather than going with stupid speech loss or speech codes, the european unions code of conduct for hate speech is insane and you're saying that. because facebook and google are not getting on the knees fast enough, the eu is saying we will follow up with legislation which will be 1000 times worse. this is a fight that will be fought until we die. >> right. >> what nick is talking but is career conduct that was signed by facebook, google, twitter and youtube earlier this year with the european commission in order to fight hate speech. the problem in that code of conduct is that there is no clear definition of what hate speech is. they are obliged to remove hate speech content within 24 hours,
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and the european commission so far is quite dissatisfied and they are threatening these companies to pass laws so it's not just a code of conduct if they don't move fast on these notifications. i think they received 600 notifications within six months. >> and certainly twitte twitterd facebook have both cracked down significantly in their own managerial practices in the time spent on what they will allow you to say or do what they will do even if you're an individual who is managing the page, for instance. you have to delete those comments or else your page will get punished. >> on twitter and maybe a month or two ago deleted a bunch of alt right accounts. again, twitter, it's a private enterprise. it's their sandbox. they can get anybody out there want. it's fundamentally stupid because the way that i think you
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managed that kind of issue is by, they keep these people out even as they were expanding the tools by which you could block or suppress people you don't want to hear from. which again is both a great and our problems. we need to be critical and nuanced and understanding of that. again, we need to be in favor of more speech is always better than less speech, even if it's really stupid speech and we can ignore it or we can engage it. there are problems. the upside of that is that twitter as a medium has been flat. insta graham and snap jet are actually have more daily users. nobody wants to buy twitter spirit twitter is interesting because we are talking about this market mechanism. of course they all these legal repercussions there looking at but they are also looking at their stock price tanking at a time when people were saying
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they were the platform for white supremacist, white nationalists. >> it's also partly because they're getting antsy about cutting more people off about who are white supremacists or whatever, and they suspended the account of lynn reynolds, the pundit who is a legal blogger who is one of the main guys on the internet really like that was in knots. i think to the extent the platform is flattening and their stock market price is tanking is more because they are seen as being too pc. not that they are pc enough arer suddenly they are a hotbed for like some kind of tribute band or something. >> right. so on that note what is the line when we are talking about government restrictions versus private company restrictions on free expression? we are libertarians. we tend to believe private
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companies should be able to run their businesses they want to. it's freedom of association, but the same time we talk but are closely intertwined all of this is. >> i think you have to make that distinction, and if you don't like that distinction of a private company imposes, then you can leave and don't work there and don't buy the product or whatever it is. but i think, i think media, if they insist that they are, is the fourth estate that has a right, and obligation to control the judiciary, the executive and the legal powers, then they need to be transparent and, you know, self-critical and look inward to
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an extent that other businesses don't necessarily have to. they can just make decisions because they are here to make money, and that's fine. but if you insist on that kind of semi-power status, then i i think it goes with certain obligations as well when it comes to free speech. >> the united states is odd and, you know, and unique and maybe exceptional in the language of the first amendment, which took a while to come into being. but congress should make no law. it's not at all opaque. government doesn't have any role in regulating speech. private businesses, and this is an interesting question about transparency, because part of the argument about facebook question, were they using algorithms to trash or keep conservative news down in the
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election. it's unclear. i don't even think they know necessarily fully what was going on spirit a lot is done by the robots. >> and it's not clear what many of that means. it's also like a lot of the news story. sorry but is a powerful force in needy. it is not a new site. it's an opinion site and there's nothing wrong with that but it's not news. it shouldn't be treated the same way an algorithm is something else. the same token i agree completely you should recognize, i don't have any control over facebook. these book is a little bit different than say a publication like reason. we are transparent and what we publish and why we publish it. when we control it completely, and we should, readers can read it or not. they can, it or not, as long as the federal government isn't on our about it. facebook pretends to be this platform. it's a little different. it's not a publication and the need to be more transparent.
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i have a right to do whatever they want but then they will either reap the rewards or suffer the consequences. if their walled garden, every flower looks the same in their walled garden. they are trying to keep people in, in facebook so you never want to leave our you never have to leave. if it starts looking like a really dull subdivision or fake cityscape speeded the already facing this problem. they have younger folks speeded they are going to have to be more diverse and have to put it in the western world vision of this, they will have to put in that samurai module so people go check out that part of the park and not just the wild west. >> i'm sure everyone in the audience has a lot of questions and we will get to those, but before, i have one more for you. based upon the fact that both
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hillary clinton and donald trump have called for closing on parts of the web, we talked about the silk road -- >> within 24 hours of each other by the way spew lots of parallels between the two. >> there is a difference between the republican and democratic party, when something like that happens. >> a little reminder. we talked about your article was about the silk road which was of course on the deep web. is there ever a justification for the government to shut down parts of the internet, such as the deep web or particular websites or message boards with things like that? and if so what would it be? >> it's going on in europe every day right now when it comes to jihadist content. denmark's parliament just passed a law where it becomes a criminal offense to share
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extremist content. if you are a scholar and you study isis and you want to share the magazine of crisis with a colleague you may end up in prison. i think that's very, very problematic. >> we've had people get punished here as well, for instance, the dallas police department after the shooting that happened earlier this year, arrested several people who had tweeted saying that it was good that copts died in dallas. spirit that's really offensive but but i don't think it is a criminal offense. ..
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>> where the government can shut down certain web sites. i don't think the government can shut down parts of the internet. they can make it more difficult to operate, they can make it a tax in terms of your time or in terms of possible outcome, but they really don't is have that. and that was one of the things that was strange about donald trump who i'm hoping will be a very successful president. he actually says certain things about regulation i agree with. you mentioned the fcc, might be good on that.
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so far he's good on school choice. i'm for that. but he also, you know, he doesn't grasp a lot of the details. when he talked about shutting down that internet, he said, you know, i'm going to talk to bill gates. [laughter] and it's kind of like, you know, bill gates had his lunch eaten by the internet. that was microsoft's downfall, migrating to the internet. so i'm not expecting a lot of, like, visionary leadership on his part. but to the strength of, he can't shut it down and most governments can't for very long. >> do we have any questions from the audience? i do ask that you keep them short, and i'm going to repeat them back so the folks on the live stream can hear them. >> [inaudible] >> oh, we have a mic coming down actually, so -- >> thank you. hi, carl.
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i was a 9/11 responder as a special agent for the u.s. customs office of internal affairs. i went many november of that year to ground zero and helped sift through the rubble of world trade center number seven, the third building that collapsed that day which there is a tyranny of silence in the media about that. >> wait, are you a proofer about building seven? >> i'm a criminal investigator -- >> okay. to you don't think, world trade center, the collapse was an inside job? >> i don't use -- i would -- the term "inside job" is foolish language. i believe in -- >> what was your question? >> i was interrupted, pardon me. this fall i hand delivered to every member of congress a 48-page document by the organization ae 9/11 it is scientific evidence for controlled demolition in all three world trade center towers, and i -- >> what is your question? >> president trump has indicated there will be a re-investigation of 9/11.
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he's acknowledged that two airplanes can't cause three skyscrapers to collapse within the space of eight hours. so what do you think? are we going to actually -- and i do have copies for each of those -- >> and i'll say for myself, i won't speak for you, but i think, you know, the airplanes that flew into the world trade center twin towers are what caused that to collapse. and when you have that kind of event happening, other parts of the world trade center are likely to collapse as well, so i don't -- yeah, yeah, yeah. i also am really deep on whether or not jet fuel -- [inaudible conversations] >> i like that trump said that we should can boeing's contract for air force one which is, like, 100% overdue and overbudget. this, i think, would be a waste of money, taxpayer money. >> question back will. back there.
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>> oh, we can -- >> i am a citizen journalist, and most of my stuff is free which a lot of people don't like because i'm competing with them. my basic question is this: the terror threat, the jihadi terror threat that we've been hearing particularly from isis seems to be trying to make ordinary civilians in western countries, in the united states into targets as if they were combatants, as if they were on the hook for anything we do. in other words, create a state of war with in the united states. -- of war war within the united states. does that justify more censorship or control of the internet or emergency powers? that could be particularly relevant in the way i operate. it's something i'm very concerned about. >> okay. >> could that really be used -- because individual citizens are being made target in ways that are not precedented. >> if we're in a state of war, if we're in a perpetual state of war, should comments made on line or through citizen
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journalists be treated as if they're being -- [inaudible] during war powers? >> well, you know, this is an argument against perpetual states of war. wars that don't have clear objectives or clear endpoints or moments where we don't even know what we want, those are bad wars to wage whether it's a war on pot or a war on poverty or a war on radical jihad. and i would leave it more to the person who is the actual object both of governmental censorship, corporate censorship and personal attacks to -- >> i didn't understand the question. >> well, i think he's asking if, if we -- if there are constant wars going on, if we're in a constant state of war -- whether yes. >> -- does that change how people should be censored online, journalists should be censored? >> i think the dave tend speaks to the fact -- dividend speaks to the fact that in times of war, government tends to
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overreact. and it's very easy to, you know, to turn up the heat on free speech and censorship, but it's very difficult to finish. >> reverse it. >> yeah. and so i think experience tells us that the tendencies that governments do overreact, and because in a state of war, you know, you want to identify enemies, your tolerance of speech is, you know -- [inaudible] and quite often afterwards when people look at that, they say, why, why that kind of speech? but it's a natural reaction, but i think you have to be on guard. because people tend to overreact. and we saw it after 9/11. i mean, if you stayed with the kind of laws that were passed and the kind of powers that were
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given to the executive, how can that happen -- [inaudible conversations] >> to tie it into fake news versus real news and ongoing arguments about journalism and to the particular question of individual citizen journalists, you know, i don't know any journalist -- they're citizens of some country, right? we're all citizen journalists. there's a constant push among a kind of professional class to say we need to certify who's a real journalist and who isn't. blogers get the same constitutional -- bloggers get the same constitutional protections as somebody at the new york times and it's like, yeah, of course they do. there's no distinction to be drawn in that. and one of the ways we need to talk about this overreaction is something like journalism shield laws where you get to hide your sources because you work for the times or something, these are funny ways of licensing and regulating the press. one of the great things about america is that we dealt with that in the colonial era, essentially, and we shouldn't go
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down that road again. >> right. definitely. i'd like to ask this question from julia vargas on twitter asks: is the production of knowledge under threat with the rise of social media? >> we'll have to wait and see, but what i said, you know, this reinforcement of confirmation bias goes against the knowledge production. and it's kind of built into the buzz model of -- the business model of facebook and other social media. but i don't think you had, you know, you can draw that as a clear cut conclusion. we'll have to work on it. [laughter] >> one of the things, too, that i think is good -- i mean, yeah, knowledge production is something we should always be guarding, you know, in favor of. like, we should be making it easier. i think a lot about justin amash, the libertarian-leaning
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republican congressman from michigan. he talked about how when he was at university of michigan law school which, by the way, is a well regarded law school, a terrible football school. [laughter] but he was told by somebody, he always thought of himself as a conservative republican because that's the family he grew up in, and then somebody said, no, you're a libertarian. and he says he went home and he googled libertarian, and he recognized who he was. so in that sense, i think social media, i think the internet more broadly, i think this whole idea of social media's more a marketing term than a lived reality necessarily. but it's definitely true you can live in a better, more well-furnished bubble than ever before, but you can also found more weird shit all over the place than ever before. and we were talking about this. you're my age, i'm in my early 50s, and i wanted to get "reason" magazine or a cato publication, i would mail away, and it would take months, and
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then they wouldn't get it right or it wouldn't show up. it was just very hard. it's so much easier as a millennial to get more information at your fingertips about something, you know, you're watching history channel, and you type -- you know, you've got your laptop or your tablet out and you're wikipediaing stuff -- >> more access. >> yeah. >> i discovered the cato institute as a teenager on the internet because someone sent me a political test, and i found out i was a libertarian anded reading about it finish started reading about it. >> there you go. >> just to follow a point about threat production, the problem is the value put into notions, you know? if you feel something, it's right. and it's very difficult to argue with somebody who insists, you know, that's what i feel. and i think social media was,
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you know, liking and sharing instead of, you know, making more elaborate arguments for one position or another also feeds this status of emotions. and i think that's undermining knowledge production, because you can -- i mean, that's what's going on on campuses if you say i'm offended. >> yeah. >> it's a way of saying, please, shut up. and it's a very powerful argument, and it feels very intimidating because you don't want to offend other people, yeah? you want to be nice. [inaudible conversations] >> difference between my home state of new jersey? [laughter] nobody wants to be nice in new jersey. but, yeah, i think you're -- the emphasis on feelings and on emotional responses is strong. i think it's always been that way, and, you know, i say this
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as somebody who edited a magazine and works for an organization called reason. when i became editor of the magazine, i was like, can i change the name to limits to reason? because that is more in keeping with my sense of things. i agree it's hard, but it's also -- you know, again, we have more platforms by which to host debates and conversations and to be persuasive. and if i can put on my kind of libertarian movement hat or classical liberal movement hat, you know, one of the things we need to think about especially in an era where the old dogmas are dying and people are looking, young people, old people, you know, are looking for something new, we often need to think about being persuasive, not simply expressive. and saying, oh, you know, the perfect libertarian solution is private sidewalks and private air, and, you know, you come on my property, i'll shoot you, whatever. but we're also trying to persuade people by engendering or imagining a world that people
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want to live in because it's interesting and prosperous and fair and rewarding. and moral. and so that's something, you know, i know i slip into every once in a while, especially, you know, small, wee hour -- wee, small hour twitter moments, you know? >> uh-huh. >> you want to be persuasive, not simply expressive. >> on that note, i have another question here from twitter. corey asks, how can we differentiate free speech from obscene or public indecency? is it dangerous to let judges make this distinction? >> well, just a short point. i think, i think we shouldn't -- we should leave as little as possible up to judges. and the, you know, there is -- >> you're not going to say that they should be put in woodchippers or anything, right? [laughter] if so, i'll earn a court order
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just to pretend i can't hear. >> i think too many politicians, every time you are confronted with a new problem or with a challenge, let's pass a law to find this problem. and i think we need to be more, you know, moderate about that. but one man's hate speech is another man's poetry. and it's the same with decency and on to centi. and obscenity. i mean, you used a certain word. you don't think it's indecent, but maybe people -- >> i'm sure there are. and i'm sure i'll hear from them. >> that's a matter of taste and individual -- >> you know, it's been my life's dream to work blue on c-span, so i may have accomplished that. [laughter] obscenity, by the way, is a made-up, fake category.
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there's no such thing as obscenity as a legal, you know, as a constitutional principle. and thankfully, we've been moving away from that. if you don't like somebody's speech, block them. move out of earshot. don't turn to that channel, don't read that book, don't read that web site. and i think it's, you know, a real positive evolution that, you know, most of you probably don't even -- have never heard the phrase banned in boston, you know, which was a thing because boston would ban all sorts of stuff, and it's really hard to do that. and i think that's good. public indecency is a little bit different because in public spaces there is a lower, you know, you have -- the more public a space is, meaning that it's in full view and that you can infringe on other people's equal rights, there's a lower standard of self-expression. >> but isn't the internet very public? i mean, it is a public space -- >> you know what? other than the porn ads that, you know, fill my inbox or my
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web browser without me ever going there once, i don't know many web sites that i'm forced to go to. it's really all a pole mechanism. i'm firing up my browser. the browser isn't firing me up, you know? >> fred -- [inaudible] from the daily ripple. today we launched the president- watched the president-elect manipulate the stock of a major corporation with a tweet. is there, is there some sort of freedom of speech that eliminates the president from using that to profit from that? i mean, if he knows, okay, look, i don't like this company, i'm going to guy short on them, and then i'm going to say a tweet on it and manipulate the stock, i mean, he has robert mercer, a hedge fund manager, behind him and all these other bankers that would certainly with be of a
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benefit. is there an infringe bement of speech -- inbring fringement of -- infringement of speech by telling the president he can't do that legally? >> that's -- yeah, i don't know. one thing i'll say, i'm much more troubled by the president-elect's actions towards carrier and a couple of other companies supposedly he's going to bail out or make stay in the united states, in indiana. there's a ball bearing company whose name i'm forgetting right now. with boeing, you know, on a certain level x this is an unprincipled answer and an emotional answer, boeing has gotten enough tax subsidies through the export-import bank and a wide variety of state, local and federal subsidies that they can suck it up for a while for a plane that they're overbudget on delivering. i do think, you know, what we're seeing here actually with a president who is as kind of unbounded as trump, we're going
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to see some interesting kind of situations that we really couldn't have thought about before. and so i, i don't have a clear answer to that, but, you know, boeing's stock price is a small order issue for me compared to kind of national protectionist economic policy more broadly. that, i think, is going to have more problems for us in the future. >> all right. i think we have room for one final question from the audience. >> i'm with future 500, but i teach as hines business school, and i've noticed over the last year -- and i think you'd probably agree -- that there's tremendously more support on campus by students for free and open speech and even uncomfortable speech than there is for bans or restrictions or safe spaces and so on. and yet we do, as faculty, have some guidelines that have been
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provided to us to, you know, to limit that kind of, that kind of speech. given that the combative forces are always going to attract more media attention and seem to have more dominant support than they actually do, what are folks in the free market community doing to really actively take advantage of this opportunity on campuses to bring more people into this movement right now when they are really ready? a lot of students see the problem, they see it every day, they want to be organized, but it's not going to, it's not going to just happen through, i'm sorry to say, free media coverage. it's just not sexy. what are people who care about this issue doing to attract people who don't necessarily find themselves in that box from the quiz to join and begin to learn what freedom and free
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markets and free speech are all about? >> i don't know. i don't have an answer. facebook and twitter. [laughter] i don't know. >> i think that there's a number of things that are being done, and, you know, an outfit like cato and some of the groups that have come out of cato including students for liberty which was founded by a cato intern who had also first worked at reason, by the way, i just want to put that out -- [laughter] young americans for liberty. there are a growing number of campus groups that bring people to campuses that actually stage events and lectures and panels and what not at universities which i think is a good place to start. when you look at something like the foundation for economic education which i think lays claim to being the oldest libertarian organization, they're rejuvenated. they're reaching more students
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in high school probably than ever before. reason is talking to millennials and younger people in terms of both the way that we talk about the future, the way that we talk about topics that relate to things like privacy, security, free speech, gender, you know, like acceptance of more than a binary choice of genders just as we shouldn't accept a binary choice in politics, let's open up the binaries, things like that. and i think that's one way to do it. and i think this could go to that question of knowledge production. we need to be producing public intellectuals, libertarians need to be producing public intellectuals who are writing work that engages a broad-based, multi-age, multi-generational public with the ideas of freedom and liberty and showing the positive outcome of giving people freedom. >> i fully agree, and -- [inaudible] >> yeah. i think there's some truth to that, yeah.
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>> we need to go the 21st century, just the word liberty now is so bound with presumption that republicanism that it closes the door before they get there. >> i agree. and that's an ongoing issue, you know? a couple years ago reason did this, the big poll of millennials, and it was done by, overseen by emily ekens who is now working at the cato institute. and one of the things we found in that was that it was something like 42% of people 18-29 had positive views of socialism. and it's like, holy cow, this is a lost generation. and then we followed up. the follow-up question was, well, what does socialism mean? and they had no idea. so we were letting language that was imprecise get in the way. because then we asked in a parallel question do you think, is it better to have a government-managed economy, or should, you know, should free markets govern the economy? and everybody was in favor of
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free markets. so it's a constant search to find what is that language that unlocks the next generation. and those of us who are older who remember the cold war, flemming and i were talking about this. in america we have a foreign policy that is still stuck in a cold war mentality, and we're fighting, you know, radical islam as if it's the soviet union circa 1960. you know, the cold war wasn't as clear cut as we thought it was, and trying to transpose that matrix, decision matrix onto something today is totally wrong. and the same thing happens with our movement. we need to constantly be refreshing our terms, our understanding. what is important to people today is not what was important to barry goldwater in 1964, and we need to understand that and act on that, for sure. >> in the terms of people, they're completely different. >> yeah. >> i would say if liberty is a
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republican word, then, i mean, i spoke about tolerance. to most people tolerance is, in fact, a causative word. it has causative connotation. so, i mean, that's a way to start. the connection between free speech and tolerance is, you know, -- if you break that, you don't have tolerance, nor free speech. so -- >> well, with that, i'd like to ask both of you in just one or two sentences what do you really want people to get out of this discussion today? what's the most important thing they can go home with? >> i think i'm going to repeat myself. [laughter] i think the world is getting, you know, increasingly more diverse. and in order to be able to live together in this increasingly
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diverse world, tolerance is, in fact, a key concept. not in the way that it's being taught and talked about in everyday life, that it means you should shut up and not say offensive things, but the ability to live with things that you hate without banning them or using intimidation, threats of violence to shut them up. and i think this will just move further and further up the agenda. more and more people are living in cities, so we will be confronted with this every day. and unfortunately, too many politicians believe that, you know, the more diversity we have in terms of consciousness in religion, the less diversity we need in terms of speech. and that's -- i think it's counterintuitive. i mean, it goes with the
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territory if you welcome more diversity, of culture, you will also need to come more diversive speech in order to provide space to every individual. and that implies, of course, that no one has the right not to be offended. that's also one with of the things that we have to teach our children, coming back to my grandson and his soccer sunday. >> what position does he play, by the way? >> doesn't play a position yet, he's only 4 years old. [laughter] >> i, i'm looking at in preparation for this, i printed out -- i write for the daily beast, and a year ago i wrote a piece for them that was titled or they titled how the feds asked me to rat out commenters. that happened under the obama regime, it's going to happen as frequently if not more frequently under a trump regime. we need to fight that always and everywhere. and it's going to happen, you know, on facebook, it's going to
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happen in the corporate space, the cultural space, in a religious space, in a political space. we should always be fighting against that. and the other thing i will say just as kind of an add-on, if we all broadly believe in inline lightenment goals -- enlightenment goals, really think about being persuasive rather than being right in every conversation. i'm the worst offender at this, but what we're trying to do here is build a world that is better than the one we inherited. i think it is getting better, and the way we will make it better still is by getting more people to want to hang out with us. not by saying oh, yeah, you know, your culture is so great, it's like it's just as good as mine where if we let people decide who they want to be. it's not being that kind of tolerant, that mindless celebration of diversity. it's actually saying, look, you know, we can go to -- i don't know how many of you are in d.c. can, but we can live in a world
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that is like the socialist safeway on 17th street where there's not -- and it's much better than it was ten years ago, but we can live in a crappy supermarket world like that, or we can go to whole foods. you know? which world do you want to be in? one is inviting, vibrant, different, one is constantly changing and morphing and mutating in anticipation of our desires and our needs and our wants. or we can go someplace where there's only one kind of eggplant, you know? and we need to be, we need to be persuasive, not simply right in every conversation when we talk about freedom and liberty. >> we want to live in a world with many types of eggplant. >> as many as we can, and i realize i think i just signaled my al-qaeda masters. [laughter] now in a land of emojis, eggplant means something totally different, and i apologize to c-span. [laughter] >> on that note, thank all of you for coming out here tonight and for those of you who tuned in on c-span or one of our
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online channels, i hope all of you enjoyed this constitution today and will continue it out in the winter garden for our reception. if you'd like a copy of the book, please feel to pick it up. it's just came out in paperback very recently, so very convenient. and please feel free to sign up for the mailing list to hear about future cato panels. thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> tonight on that "the communicators," verizon's executive vice president of public policy craig craig sihliman talks about the company's changes over recent years including the purchase of
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aol and the proposed acquisition of yahoo!. he also discusses the need for a massive cyber buildout which could be part of the infrastructure program being considered by president-elect trump and congress. he's interviewed by john mckinnon, engine reporter for "the wall street journal." >> guest: we're building the fiber deeper and deeper into the network so the wireless signals are traveling a shorter distance. that means increasingly 90% of that is actually fiber. you mentioned the internet of things and smart cities. look at what cities are trying to do. ..


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